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Athabasca University

Collaborative Tools Evaluation Project - Circa 2000


  • definitions of major techniques;

  • listings of current products;

  • reports of their conclusions.

The highest priority is given to software that can be downloaded from the internet and used at no cost.

New product categories will be added, and the existing ratings updated.


Asynchronous Synchronous

Discussion/ bulletin boards
   (delayed response)

Chat/ Messaging
   (instant response)

Audio/ video

Voice/ video-mail




w/ delayed feedback

w/ instant feedback


Course Management Systems


Intended Audience

The site is designed to help distance educators and their students to select appropriate methods of course development and delivery. Athabasca University (AU) in Alberta is Canada's Distance Education University, teaching over 30,000 students around the world, completely via distance education methods and media. The evaluation site is maintained by AU's Centre for Distance Education (CDE), as a collaborative activity by its faculty and graduate students.



The selection of software reviewed on the site is completely impartial, and no reviews on the site are by persons with any commercial interest in the products reviewed. The reviewers do not claim the selection of software to be exhaustive, nor that the reviews take account of the most up-to-date versions of the software. Suggestions for products to be added to the site's review base are welcomed.

Last updated by MK June 20, 2014

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.